Vocals, guitars, bass, synthesizers and programming: Jack Alberson
German dialogue on "One People": Katja Eichner
Recorded November 2004-September 2005 at The Cat Room and SDHQ, Memphis Tennessee
Subject: "Illuminated" Truly Shines
To the casual music listener, "Illuminated" is a collection of catchy songs with smooth vocals. To the person who demands more from their music listening experience, "Illuminated" is a collection of carefully crafted masterpieces with multi-layered nuances. "The View From A Moving Car" and "Manic, Impressive!" use rhythms and the music itself to give the listener a true feeling of the emotions conveyed, hence putting you right in the moment and inside its very heart. "The Human Condition" has its tone set the stage- sympathetic harmony and resonating melody strike a chord within the soul of every human who had faltered at some point. "Reliquiae" and "One People" are both short but essential to the entire experience. If you've never heard this album before, listen to them in sequence the first time so you can experience the powerful effect they have in context. "The Gradual" and "Survival" are slower but heavily substantial songs. The lyrics drive them but the music is perfectly complimentary. "On & On" is a fun song- the repetitive beats underneath lighter music will make you nod your head, if not get up and start dancing. It and "The View From A Moving Car" are perfect driving songs and I can vouch for this from personal experience. "Song of Bubastis" is a more mellow song with a cornucopia of various sounds. Finally, we get to my favorite song of the album: "Vanity Tax."
The first time I listened to "Vanity Tax", I was completely blown away by it. It resonated specifically with me because I heard it at a time when I was struggling with my self-image in comparision with what I felt society judged as ideal. I put the song on repeat and every time I heard it, I noticed something new about it. As the song flows towards the end, the lyrics become more distorted and shallow- a perfect and brilliant commentary on what one becomes in modern day as one is consumed by societally-induced vanity. This song, to me, was my personal illumination. There is a song on every well-written album that releases a part of your soul and "Vanity Tax" was that song for me.
"Illuminated" is a perfect blend of music- from short to long to fun to serious. If you like good music that enriches your mind and stirs your soul, you have to give this album a try. You will not be disappointed, but you may walk away humming and a little more self-aware than you were before. Be prepared to be illuminated.
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